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Muscle Nerve. 2009 Sep;40(3):476-80. doi: 10.1002/mus.21346.

Pericardial effusion with cardiac tamponade as a cardiac manifestation of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Children's Hospital and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 5 Fu-Shin Street, Kwei-Shan, Taoyuan, 333, Taiwan.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common hereditary neuromuscular disease in children. It is an X-linked hereditary dystrophinopathy due to the absence of dystrophin. Its onset is often in early childhood and presents with proximal distribution of weakness and a progressive course. Cardiac involvement in DMD is common, and its onset is usually after the age of 10 years. The most common cardiac manifestations are a dilated cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmia. However, pericardial effusion with cardiac tamponade is a very rare cardiac complication of DMD. We report a boy with DMD who initially presented with progressive dyspnea and an enlarged cardiac silhouette on chest radiography who subsequently developed a large pericardial effusion with cardiac tamponade. Early recognition of pericardial effusion with cardiac tamponade is important for institution appropriate therapy.

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